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Try Not To Crash

It was a big movie weekend for me. Well, not necessarily a movie weekend so much as a DVD weekend. It started off on Friday night when my friend, Kevin, came over. He brought along with him some DVD’s he rented, along with a stack of his own. We decided upon starting the evening with recent Best Film Oscar winner, Crash. We followed that up with Shrek 2.

I have to get this off my chest: What was the academy thinking? I did not like Crash. I won’t exaggerate and say I hated it. But it definitely did NOT deserve to win. Now, now, now – don’t go saying that I didn’t like it because it forced me to confront my own issues with racism. Quite the opposite. I didn’t like it because it was so over-the-top/in-your-face about the existence of racism that it became a cinematic stereotype.

Yes, racism exists. Yes, there’s a piece of it in all of us. But come on, this movie depicted every person of every race as pure evil. Just when you think it can’t any worse, an asian man gets run over by two black men who car-jacked a vehicle (the viewer later discovers that the asian man was importing Cambodian slaves to sell on the streets of Los Angeles). And the middle-eastern man erroneously takes revenge on man by aiming a gun and shooting at a little girl. Did I mention the white cop who accuses the black lady of only being employed because of affirmative action or the the black detective who tells his mom he’s boning a white girl just to piss her off? It felt like the characters were sprouting off racial dialog just for the sake of making that point. Sublety goes a long way, folks. Consider it next time.

I mean, everybody was racist against everybody else in this film. Well, except for one (rather hot, I might had) latino locksmith. Otherwise, everybody from every ethnic background hated every other person from any other background. They didn’t just casually stereotype people – they loathed them – right to their faces.

Meanwhile – Shrek 2, as an aminated “family” comedy did a much better job at tackling racism without ramming it down your throat. In this case, it was all about the Cameron Diaz character’s parents accepting her and Shrek into the family as ogres. Subtle, poignant, well done.

Regarding Crash, I agree with one critic who said that the academy was playing it safe by voting with Crash – it made them look politically-correct. Meanwhile, it just reminded me way too much of when the academy thought Forrest Gump was such a fine film when it was pure shmaltz only worthy of the 99-cent used CD bin.

On Saturday, I ran errands then had lunch with my friend, Fernando, before meeting up with Mike for dinner at the Harp and Bard (how St. Patty’s of me). We then went back to his place to watch DVD’s. That night’s selection consisted of Mermaids (I do love that film) and Hustler White (so bad it’s good).

Continuing on the cinematic trend, Mike introduced me to ifilm…where you can watch little video clips of, well, anything. There’s a hilarious dutch home video of a kid attempting to dive into a pool – but he misses by a good 5 to 10 feet! Yep – he falls flat on his face. Classic feel good stuff. Where’s the academy when stuff like this gets neglected?


  1. Comment by David on March 20, 2006 2:41 pm

    Now now Karl. That was sort of the point.
    It was unique. Of course I wanted Brokeback to win, but come on, it was that ground breaking as a movie. The only thing it did do was to get a “gay” movie more into the mainstream.
    The bigger travesty was that rap song……..
    Poor Dolly!

  2. Comment by Veselka Slut on March 20, 2006 3:34 pm

    I liked that rap song, and well I luv her, her song wasn’t that good.

    Karl, tell us about “Hustler White,” sounds like our type of film.

  3. Comment by Karl on March 20, 2006 9:20 pm

    I love Dolly, too. But that song SUCKED. It was so repetitious. “travelin’, travelin’, travelin’ thru, travelin’ thru, travelin’ thru”.

    And I think Brokeback was more groundbreaking than Crash. (though, Brokeback wasn’t that groundbreaking, either).

    Veselka – I should ahve you over some night for some cultural immersion. Some Strangers with Candy and some Hustler White (stumping has never been so erotic).

  4. Comment by Lise on March 21, 2006 4:37 pm

    One word for Crash – overwrought. I agree w/ you – it was certainly the weakest of those nominated (I had no problem w/ the others, but would have loved to see Pride & Prejudice take that slot). I didn’t hate the movie either, and the acting really lifted it, but it got ever more ludicrous as it went on. And by the end it was just … soooo too much. I think it was just myopic LAers in the Academy voting for it, and it “spoke” to them more than the rest of the country, with a little nervousness w/ the homos thrown in.

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